Black Book index climbs for third straight month
Along with aligning with another online marketplace connecting buyers and sellers of used vehicles, Black Book watched its Used Vehicle Retention Index rise in November, pushing the reading higher for the third consecutive month.
Editors indicated the November index reading increased 0.3 percent month-over-month, ticking up from 114.6 to 115.0. The movement triggered the third straight monthly increase dating back to August when the index sat at 112.6.
The Black Book Used Vehicle Retention Index is calculated using Black Book’s published wholesale average value on two- to six-year-old used vehicles, as a percent of original typically-equipped MSRP. It is weighted based on registration volume and adjusted for seasonality, vehicle age, mileage and condition.
Black Blook explained that the index rising for the third straight month gives used cars and trucks relative strength heading into the final month of the year. The index has increased in five months during 2017, with a sixth month unchanged (June to July).
It’s the first time since 2013 that the index increased at least five times during the calendar year. Back in 2013, the index increased six times.
Editors noticed nine segments saw increases in the index during November, including:
—Midsize luxury crossover/SUV
—Prestige luxury cars
“The continued strengthening of the index indicates 2017 has been a little stronger than expected for used cars and trucks, helped along the way by the hurricane replacement activity,” said Anil Goyal, senior vice president of automotive valuation and analytics for Black Book.
“Any continued strengthening over the next few months will mean we’re getting an early jump at the oncoming tax spending season, when consumers use their checks to replace their vehicles in the spring,” Goyal continued.
The index dates back to January 2005 when Black Book published a benchmark index value of 100.0 for the market. During 2008, the index dropped by 14.1 percent, while during 2016 the index fell by just 6.4 percent. During 2011, the index rose strongly from 113.3 to 123.0 by the end of the year as the economy picked up steam and used-vehicle values rose higher. It continued to remain relatively stable, rising slightly until May of 2014 when it hit a peak of 128.1.
To obtain a copy of the latest Black Book Wholesale Value Index, go to this website.
Latest weekly update
Along with sharing the month index, editors also released this week’s Black Book Market Insights report, which mentioned that compact cars sustained their highest depreciation in the past 26 weeks.
Overall according to volume-weighted data, Black Book indicated car segment values declined by 0.66 percent last week. In comparison, car values decreased on average by 0.57 percent per week during the previous four weeks.
Within cars, editors found that sub-compact car and compact car segments performed the worst, decreasing by 1.12 percent and 0.86 percent, respectively.
Moving over to the volume-weighted information for trucks, Black Book reported overall values (including pickups, SUVs and vans) declined by 0.34 percent last week. Truck values softened on average by 0.43 percent per week during the previous four weeks.
For trucks, editors determined the sub-compact crossover segment performed the worst, decreasing by 1.38 percent.
As far as what Black Book’s representatives in the lanes uncovered, it seems dealers are still struggling to find certain kinds of inventory.
Beginning in Arizona, Black Book’s lane watcher said, “The sale was low on inventory, which kept the prices fairly stable.”
Down in Florida, the report was, “Dealers need clean vehicles, but there weren’t that many here. The late model units struggled to make the set floor prices.”
And up in Pennsylvania, “Not enough truck supply here today to satisfy the demand,” was the focus of the Black Book recap.
Finally, another development surfaced in Colorado with the representative stating, “We had a pretty decent sale here thanks to the online buyers. The in-lane attendance continues to decline.”
Black Book to share vehicle data with Carable
In other company news, Black Book announced this week it has signed a partnership agreement with Carable, a unique peer-to-peer used-vehicle marketplace that connects individual buyers and sellers of cars and trucks. Black Book is providing all vehicle valuations for sellers listing their vehicles in the online marketplace.
“An accurately priced vehicle is always the key to connecting buyers and sellers,” Carable founder Patrick Juthberg said. “Carable is truly unique in the auto industry, and our success depends on resources such as Black Book for an efficient and transparent online marketplace.”
Jared Kalfus, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Black Book, added, “Millions of consumers today are accustomed to buying and selling goods online, therefore a marketplace such as Carable is a natural fit for people looking to buy and sell vehicles.
“We’re pleased we can contribute to such a unique marketplace with the most accurate values in the industry, thus ensuring a fair transaction for both sides and offering Carable a chance to realize repeat business as more people utilize the service,” Kalfus went on to say.